Tank Bag Redux

Making the FJR yours - what have you done, want to do, plan to do, and how?
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bill lumberg
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Tank Bag Redux

Post by bill lumberg » Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:26 am

I have used a givi tanklock bag (3D603, which givi has replaced with the ST602) for distance rides quite a bit. It's a PITA in the garage or parking lot at full bar lock, but it's really nice when I'm on the road, to be able to get sunglasses, gum, espresso pods, etc., while riding or while stopped and astride the bike. As my stock gas tank assembly bolts hid under something as I was prepping my last bike to trade in, the givi tanklock ring stayed on that bike. I intended to stop using a tank bag at all. Then I did another SS1K, and I missed the bag.

I am looking for a larger givi tanklock tank bag. If you have used one of their larger bags, how did you like it? I don't want anything that contacts the tank. This isn't a concern with their smaller offerings, but I am concerned it might be with their larger ones. Your experience is appreciated.

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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by raYzerman » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:42 am

ST602 is 4 litres. I have the XS308 (20 litres). It is a big bag, almost too big, has a removable belt that holds the side and rear pockets. It hits the bars lock to lock but is OK normally riding. The XS307 is 15 litres, perhaps the one I'd get if doing it again, but I suspect it will hit the bars also. When mounting these, put them rearward as much as the mount allows. I got the 20 litre one because of the side pockets and the larger map window. I used to have a Bagster GS, it was large also but tapered such that it didn't hit the bars, but no side pockets. I like the Givi tank mount as it is much more convenient than the Bagster mechanism.
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by Hppants » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:10 am

I use the XS307. I've got it pushed back to the last hole to allow my GPS (on a ram bone) to be positioned such that I can see the full bike instrumentation, including the idiot lights. On full left, the bag deploys the horn, which is always interesting on the Street.

Also, that strap crap got cut away from the bag the day I bought it. The buckle serves no useful purpose for me.

I can't understand why Givi's map window on the bag itself is not large enough to display a traditional sized map with two fold widths by one fold depth. I'm not referencing the map pocket thingie they provide with the bag that, when installed, makes it a PITA to get to anything in the bag. That also is useless and was discarded to the closet on the first day. This was a HUGE design oversight by Givi, IMO. Maybe standard maps in England are a difference size? I suppose I'm archaic, but I use an actual paper map when I'm touring. I love the 30,000 foot view. With the reduced window size, I have to fold the maps in a unconventional way, and inevitably, it causes them to tear over time. Kind of pisses me off.

Most significantly, I've had the bag replaced under warranty twice (TWICE) for the same reason - the zipper on the top of the bag that allows access to the main compartment jumped the track. This zipper is "u-shaped" and has two pulls - one from either side. In both cases, the zipper pull on one side jumped the track at the corner. What I learned is that the bag gets slightly distorted when one zipper pull is left completely open (to the front of the bag), and the other pull is run all the way around the "U". The highest distortion occurs at the corner and that's where it jumps the track. To Givi's credit, they replaced the bag promptly, including a shipping label to return the defective one, at no charge to me. What I do now is make sure I pull BOTH zipper pulls toward their respective corner, thereby reducing the bag's tendency to become distorted.

15 liter is the perfect size for me.

Would I buy the XS again? I'd rather not, considering the problems described above, but I don't see much else on the market that is that much better.

Hope this info helps.
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by ionbeam » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:24 am

You specify Givi, but would you consider something like a Bags Connection Evo City bag which is expandable? It doesn't have a map window which may be a deal breaker, but it does have ports which can be opened to run wires to either electrify the bag or run comm/entertainment gear. There is a pouch under the lid for maps which holds 4-5 standard size maps. The picture below is 'representative' and may not exactly match every detail of the bag I have.

[edit]SW-Moto blocked the link to my original picture, this is picture II[/edit]
Image

I road tested it down to EOM '18 and liked it better than the Givi that I toured around California. With the rain cover it was waterproof in hurricane Florence on the way down to EOM and 3 solid days of heavy rain on the return trip. It didn't really interfere with my OEM bars even when expanded, though it *just* touched. No unexpected horn toots or button pushes at steering lock. Even though it didn't look like it would hold much, it did in fact hold everything I wanted to put into it and some of Pillion's overflow too.

The bottom-rear of the bag is semi-solid and is off the tank, but my Yamaha tank pad would be under it if it did droop. I put a small square of clear 3M paint protector film at the front where the cable release lives. The front does have a snap tab to hold the cable out of harms way. It was easy on/off at gas fills. If we are going on more than a day ride I'll be using the bag for sure. I never knew I wanted a tank bag until I tired this one. The Givi I used (on a BMW K1300) was a PITA.
Last edited by ionbeam on Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by Hppants » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:56 pm

I/B - that bag looks to be shaped much better for the FJR's ergos. Givi makes a tank bag with the tank lock system for the Africa Twin that is shaped like that, with the back of the bag swooping downward, and the bag remaining relatively skinny (left to right).

How's the zipper for the main compartment work?

I've got to have a map window, but I'm curious.
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by ionbeam » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:59 pm

The top zipper is a standard two zipper affair. As shown, both zippers have to be undone for the cover to open, if you choose they can both be zipped to one side at the front of the bag, letting you use just one zipper do the job. When the top is unzipped it flops forward (toward the instrument panel) completely 100% open. The second zipper track just under the zipper pair is for the bag expansion. Unzip the lower zipper track and the bag expands upward to the full 15 liters. There is enough space above the bag top that the instruments are still visible with the bag expanded.

The curvature of the bag bottom is like it was made for the FJR tank. When I first looked into inside the bag I didn't think the end closest to the rider would hold much, but it turns out to be quite deceptive. I found that the rain cover will neatly fit down in the narrow back area.

The rain cover and its bag is made to fit in the back pouch (rider end) or you can toss it in the bag keeping the handy back pouch free. The two side pouches don't hold much, but they could keep a cell phone handy, or glasses & face shield cleaning stuff.

The only weirdness is that the bag comes with a template and drill bit that you need to use to attach the bag to the bag's ring clamp; the tank mounting ring is normal. You open a pouch in the bottom of the bag for the template. This lets you put the locking ring on the tank and move the bag back and forth to get the best possible fit for the bag profile over the tank. The instructions on how to do this had 356 languages and required a magnifying glass to read the tiny English-Chinglish instruction strip. The mounting plate can be drilled with a battery powered or hand held drill but my drill press made it easy-peasy.

Fellow NERDS and friend Fred W has the same bag and he has electrofried his bag by leading a two pin pigtail into the bag. His bag carries more electrical gizmos than NewEgg sells. I believe Fred used something like this mounted to the front of his bag:

[ignore the warning, you can find a feed-thru like this at RV and camping supply stores as well as solar supply stores]
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If someone is interested I'm pretty sure I could post a picture or two.
Last edited by ionbeam on Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by deang » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:02 pm

Great thread. Been looking at getting a tank bag as well. Part of the reason for holding off is the issue Pants has; found a couple that caught my eye but the map window didn't look big enough to view more than 100 miles of straight road.
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by ionbeam » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:13 pm

A map window wasn't important for me, I use a GPS for most riding, but I have a backup Automatic Paper Map Reader that normally resides on the back seat and provides paper map based guidance as necessary. If it gets annoying I just shut off the Scala comm and revert to the GPS ;)
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by wheatonFJR » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:27 pm

I carry a little tiny globe in my tankbag, so I can see EVERYTHING.

Seriously though, I'm with you on tankbag window sizes...2:1 vertical to horizontal for standard map fold sizes would be great. In the meantime I buy replacement maps.
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by bigjohnsd » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:16 pm

I went with the SW Motech City Bag on the GSA, Bought the optional Map Pocket too. They make an electrification kit that connects through the Tank Ring Mount, I didn't buy that. Have only put 500 miles on with the bag but it holds all that I need.
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Re: Tank Bag Redux

Post by Hppants » Wed Jan 09, 2019 6:52 pm

Thanks Alan - very helpful. The XS307 has that horizontal zipper to expand the bag vertically to the full 15 liters. It is located on the bottom of the bag, however.

Not to thread jack intentionally (although that has RARELY stopped me before), but I just cannot rely on the GPS for the "big picture". It's impossible for me to see the "100-200 mile" view on the 4" screen without losing virtually every road worth riding in the resolution. I can "zoom in and out" with the bike GPS, but that is much easier to do on the phone if we are trying to find a squiggly road now. No - for me, using the paper map seems to be much better because I not only see the road(s) I want to try, but I can see that these are taking me in the general direction I want to go. Also, when we stop with a group, the big paper map provides enough detail and size for everyone to see, and offer input. I guess you'd have to tour with Pants to understand - most of the time, I just wing it. But I know generally where I want to sleep tonight, so in my "winging it", I at least want to head in the general direction. Also, I want to give everyone plenty of opportunity to say where they want to go too.

For me, the GPS is better for turn by turn navigation (to a specific address), and for routes that have been pre-programmed before the ride (which I hardly every use, but that's another story).
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